The Heritage Jr. Gardener program is very popular in Friendswood and is modeled after the Texas Master Gardener program through Texas A&M Agrilife. The program is often called JMG Kids.
Participants in the program work to earn certification.
Certification represents approximately three years of creative, fun study and activities in horticultural and environmental science education. The program teaches leadership and life skills development in addition to community service.
Kaye Corey is the Master Gardener JMG teacher.
“The participants are so enthusiastic and hardworking. It is a pleasure to work with them,” Corey said. “This program has gotten so popular, I have a waiting list that keeps growing.”
The group is involved in educational fieldtrips, maintenance of a flowerbed area in Stevenson Park, maintenance of their Butterfly Garden in Briscoe Gardens, and participation with an educational entry in the Federation Flower Show.
The members have design and horticulture entries in the Heritage Gardener Flower Show, an annual lemonade stand and bake sale during the Heritage Garden Tour, an Adopt a Spot with Keep Friendswood Beautiful Community Clean Up, and participation in the Woodsy Owl Poster Contest.
The group participates in Arbor Day with the Keep Friendswood Beautiful Tree Give-away and educational literature distribution.
“They are extremely active for three years and then receive official certification as Junior Master Gardeners,” Corey said. “We have two members who will receive their certifications at our first meeting of the year for Heritage Gardeners.”
Dr. William Johnson, Galveston County Horticulture Extension Agent, will be present at the meeting Sept. 1 to present certificates from Texas A&M Agrilife and certified pins to Junior Master Gardeners Emily Smith and Caleb Wales.
Johnson has a PhD in Plant Pathology and Botany and has been in his position since 1989. He serves as Master Gardener Program Coordinator and writes a weekly news column.
The meeting will take place at the Marie Workman Garden Center at 112 W. Spreading Oaks in Friendswood.
Story by Karolyn Gephart